Thursday, April 03, 2008


What makes any kind of imprisonment or restriction, physical/emotional/intellectual, unbearable is not the treatment or conditions that it makes legitimate (by default or not) but the state of having been deprived of options. 1984, Brave New World, The Handmaids Tale all go to highlight this fact.

It is not the Thought Police' intrusion into Winston Smith's supposedly taboo love life or the torture Julia and he undergo that makes Oceania unacceptable. It is not the World State's anti-conditioning that drives John the Savage to the brink but the inability instilled in the inhabitants to discern what sort of conditioning works positively on an individualistic level. Offred does not find Jezebel's, the brothel run by the party, alluring because of the exciting costumes. The dictum is just a means to effect the end. It is what the end denies that spurns.

For all of them (in 2 of these dystopian novels and 1 utopian gone overboard with irony) it is the impossibility of basic human emotions being discovered, questions asked, or even the space to talk to one another just because one wants to, that incites them. Whether the urge to do away with the shackles results in smart moves or not is irrelevant. Some get smart, some succumb, some go to great lengths. The lack of the other, lack of options is what crucifies human spirit.

None of this is relevant to any situation I'm in. Neither is it as great. But it's kinda depressing that I'm deprived of some options!

But I take respite in being human. I shall crib and wear this thin. Soon. Or maybe it's just PMS and in that case it will definitely be out of my system.

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